Chapter I: 5th of Eleint, Year of the Prince, 1357, Dale Reckoning
(click here for entire chapter)
Judd’s Favorite Moment:
Taking a moment to compose my thoughts, I stand up, mug in raised hand.
“A toast. To willing fools who venture out into the wilds of the world in search of fame and fortune, for without us this would be a dreary boring place. To those who seek out the secrets of the past and bring them out into the light of day once more, and for there being nothing wrong with making a small amount of coin from the task. To those who no doubt are beloved of Tymora, for how many are the dangers we escape from by the skin of our teeth where others simply do not. To friendships forged in battle, kisses stolen during travels, and songs sung to the glories of ages past and the feats of today and tomorrow. To you, to us, to adventure on the open road: there is nothing else like it in this fair world.”
Daniel’s Favorite Moment:
The entire episode of the tapestry, from finding it in the market, to haggling for its price, to leading us to meet The Hunt, and finally seeing the story it conveys:
Once upon a time there was an elf with a deep love of winter. When it came time for him to leave his home and wander Faerun, he sought out the lands that never knew spring or autumn. The Icewind Dale, the First Glacier and the far lands of Sossal were all known to him. The Rashamen Witches called him Winter’s Lover. The Icewind Dale-folk called him the Southron Sword. The Sossali called him the Sad Immortal because a Sossal princess stole his heart and tragedy struck. When he returned after many decades with a great white bear and grief in his heart, his kin did not ask too many questions but allowed his heart to heal.
His own people called him Sul. He made his own manor and for the first time since his youth, he stayed in the Cormanthor after the spring thaw and began a family among his people.
When his children were of age, they were fostered to Great White Wyrms of the north, whose respect he had gained when he sought their wisdom and winter-lore and showed them ways other than slaughter and terror. These white-scaled dragons with ice-cold breath and great wings were grateful for the Whitewyrm children’s counsel and looked forward to having a fosterling from their elven ally. The Whitewyrm elves were no strangers to sword, spear and bow but more importantly were cunning in ways of court and politics in ways the dragons were not.
The elves of spring, summer and autumn warned him that the chromatic dragons could not be trusted because of their goddess but Sul Whitewyrm did not listen. So, when Tiamat awoke and painted the heavens red with her wrath and called on those who had five-headed shrines in their lairs to rampage through their lands and take what treasure they could, the lands gripped by winter were safe. This was called Sul’s Peace.
Truth be told, there was more dice-rolling in this opening chapter than I would have expected just getting things started. It was very cool to read as fiction AND as AP. Seeing the NPC LPs gave a very interesting view of the NPCs; this LP snapshot gives a more historical perspective on each NPC than can usually be portrayed in the fiction. So, when reading this as fiction, it allows for “peeking under the hood” and adds a sense of depth that you can’t get from fiction alone. Clearly, you both really know your Forgotten Realms setting.
Kudos for you both!
Thank’s JJ. I’m writing this with the Cyclopedia of the Realms right next to me. It makes it easier that I am not concerned with decades of history, just what’s in a few of the supplements when I want and what’s in the gray boxed set. Everything else is debatable to me. Winnowing it down makes FR a playable place. Even a simple google search on a Forgotten Realms term can lead me to threads at Candlekeep, wikipedia entries, FR wiki’s of all stripes…it can get to be too much in a big hurry..
But that boxed set and those first supplements are pretty damned solid. The Hunt is in the Cyclopedia and there are details I have included but I’ve embellished a whole lot and I think both of us are fine with that.
So, yeah, I write with the maps on my wall and that one book in front of me; I don’t have many FR details memorized, just my kind of vague ideas about some places that I strengthen with a re-read when I need to.
Thanks for reading!
What’s been really interesting to me is that, though I am not as well-versed in the Realms now as I was in my teens (and trust me, I knew Realms history better than American history back then), Judd’s writing hits true on the spirit of the setting. I am also now not concerned at all about canon, not to mention that “my Realms” are very much in the past of the “official” storyline, so going back to the gray box, where it started for me, and going from there, is simply fantastic.
Watching this unfold is a joy. Thanks!!
Daniel: Your consistent portrayal of Hal is great. I have a real feel for him even at this early stage in the game; your passion is showing through. I love following him on his journey.
Judd: Your depiction of the Realms and, especially, the people that populate it is amazing. I love how you pull the lore in yet still comfortable with doing your own thing with it. I have no desire to look up in a wiki any of the places you mention because, as far as I’m concerned, I consider this canon.
You both bring the Realms to life.
Thanks, JJ. I’m happy with how its going.